Illustration of the Troop standard from the unit's 1874 centennial history book.
The 1775 Troop standard is enshrined in the Armory’s museum today. Close inspection reveals that the thirteen stripes in the upper left corner cover a British Union Jack. In a certain sense, the Troop is still a cultural melding of the New World and Mother England.
In 1775, Abraham Markoe, the Troop's founding captain, commissioned the unit's first battle standard—a yellow silk flag featuring a British Union Jack in the upper left corner.
It also featured a unit crest in the center, with a horse’s head representing cavalry and thirteen ribbons tied in a knot representing the unity of the American colonies. A colonist, disguised as a Native American, symbolically represented liberty, while his unstrung bow indicated a readiness for war and preference for peace. His Phrygian cap also represented liberty. An angel blowing a trumpet symbolized fame. A decorative ribbon beneath spelled out the Troop’s motto, “For These We Strive.”
Soon after receiving this flag, the members of the Philadelphia Light Horse agreed to alter it by covering the Union Jack with thirteen horizontal stripes representing each of the Anglo-American colonies. According to Philadelphia tradition, this was the first recorded use of the thirteen stripe motif that has been a defining feature in American flags ever since.
The Troop standard remains an active U.S. Army symbol today. In 1978, Lieutenant Dennis Boylan helped ensure this continuity when he arranged for the Troop to become the only company-sized unit in the United States Army with federal permission to carry its own battle standard. Under normal circumstances, only units of battalion or higher size are permitted that honor.